Industrialisation is the first step in developing economies that are competitive and resilient.

One can consider industrialisation as the movement from human leverage to technology leverage. That is, it is the beginning of utilising technology and machinery together with energy to increase labour productivity thereby improving production unit economics. The greater the leverage, i.e., creating more value utilising less input; the more competitive we become.

Intrinsic then in any industrial or manufacturing application is our ability to effectively utilise energy and machinery to produce products of value in a sustainable and competitive manner. For countries to industrialise, we then need energy that is reliable, secure, affordable, and sustainable to drive production processes, together with the technical skills and human resources necessary for the delivery and management of such, together with the equipment and machinery, with the requisite access to markets that require such products at the price point in which returns on investment can be realised.

AIA understands that competition is at the centre of strategy, requiring competitiveness for long-term sustainability. Competitiveness comes about through innovation and creating greater value for our customers. Part of the value equation comes from producing at lower costs than our peers, including our global peers. For that to occur we need to drive scale and leverage technology. The utilisation of machinery and technology to drive increases in throughput and efficiency, thereby enhancing leverage, is fundamentally an issue of process. That is, processes drive production and improvements in operations are generally related to improvements in processes.

Processes, when managed correctly, similarly yield information and for more sophisticated industries, greater automation of processes requires greater utilisation of sensors, which increases sensory information available. This information, when correctly processed and stored becomes the basis for big data applications which itself can be used to drive process and operational improvements.

At present, we are undergoing an industrial revolution by virtue of the data that is available to us, and our ability to drive step changes in output and productivity. Our work within the footwear manufacturing sector, for example, in developing a 4IR maturity assessment ensures that we understand not just the theory, but also the practical examples of understanding how manufacturers actually utilise technology in driving up efficiencies and ultimately competitiveness.

We therefore work with both the private and public sector in issues such as strategy and organisational transformation, 4IR and digital transformation, and process improvements.


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